Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Shannon Lilly's 4th-quarter 3-pointer paves way for Kimball’s comeback
AUSTIN — Afterward, as Kimball players prepped for interviews, Keith Frazier shouted “MVP” in the direction of Shannon Lilly. Coach Royce Johnson called him “Big-Shot.” Lilly was just arriving. He strolled in casually late, not saying a word, barely cracking a smile.
He was hiding the emotion, a fitting choice because he seems to conceal his big-game ability before releasing it when the outcome matters most and opponents expect the outpouring the least. Yes, it was Shannon Lilly’s game again, this second straight 4A championship for Kimball, a 78-75 victory against Houston Yates in which he scored 25 points on eight-for-12 shooting. This should seem a doubtful premise, just as it did last year before he scored 23 points and won the MVP award.
Kimball has Keith Frazier, a top-20 national prospect for the class of 2013, and sophomore D’Angelo Allen, who already has offers from seven major Division I schools. Yates has sharpshooting Oregon signee Damyean Dotson and a host of other guards with long arms and ripped muscles.
Lilly is a slender 6-0 guard. He has no offers from major D1 programs. He has no national ranking.
But the fourth quarter came along, and no one on Kimball had reliably scored except for him. Then with Yates leading 72-67, Lilly made a three-pointer. Johnson referred to this as the shot that prepared the easel for the rest of Kimball’s comeback. Lilly saw it that way, too. He planned it that way.
“They needed a shot so I just put it in my hands,” he said. “I just said, ‘I got it.’”
After Torrey Henry’s second three-pointer, which gave Kimball a 76-75 lead, the same thoughts returned to Lilly. He just wanted an opportunity to close the game. He knew it would be over if he got the ball.
Lilly stepped to the free throw line with six seconds left. Kimball’s recent history has been marred by poor free throw shooting in playoff games. Lilly sank both, dribbling the ball three times before each shot.
He now has two state tournament MVP plaques. Kimball is remembered for state championships and for individual talents like Acie Law, Jeryl Sasser and Jason Sasser. Lilly will have his place in that tradition as well.
“He’s up there,” Johnson said. “Any time you can do it on the biggest stage.”